I struggle but I can’t move, I can hear him approaching, my breathing is laboured as I try to break through my shackles but after so many months of fighting I know it’s impossible. No, fuck no, I can’t do this again, I can already feel the rage engulfing me. If I take any more blood I’m lost, I will rather die than become one of these fuckers.
My body aches from the constant torture; as soon as I start to heal they are on me again like animals. “So, have you had a change of heart yet?” Merdor’s voice grates against my nerves as he smirks at me. The asshole is trying to turn me into a Keres with the dosage of blood he keeps on giving me. I know I’m close, but I won’t give him the satisfaction of knowing that.
“Fuck . . . off” my voice is raspy as I grate my reply, I will fight until the end, I will not give in. I rattle my shackles again in frustration but that only amuses him.
“You hurt my feelings,” he says sarcastically, “I thought we were becoming friends.” He comes to stand before me, his hands in his pockets. I wish I could pull these shackles off the wall and kill him with them. The skin on my wrists and ankles is raw from scraping against them, but I don’t feel the pain, all I feel is the rage.
“I’m thinking that you might be a tad peckish, I’ve brought you a gift.” He says as he lifts his hand and motions behind him. Only then do I realise that in the doorway is another Keres and this one is holding a woman against him. I can see that the woman has been beaten, abused until her eyes are a dead shell of the person that she must have been.
The Keres pushes her forward until she’s standing next to Merdor, lifting her arm he brings it to his mouth. I know what’s going to happen before he even does it, I know that he’s going to bleed this woman. I can’t let him kill her; I can’t let him give me any more blood. I start struggling, I have to get out, I can’t . . .
“Cassius, wake up brother.” I lurch awake with a gasp, disorientated I look around and realize that I’m sitting in the infirmary. Fuck I must have fallen asleep, looking up I see that Bion is standing a foot away from me with a concerned frown on his face. “You okay?” he asks
“Yeah” they all know that I have nightmares of the time Merdor captured me, I know that all the brothers are worried that I’m on the verge of turning. Looking over at the bed where my hope lies within this woman that is my mate or so Merdor said before I killed him. Her beautiful hazel eyes still haunt me of when I saw her looking at me just before that Son of a bitch shot her as she was running towards me to save me from his bullet.
“Why, why would she place herself in danger for me?” I whisper but Bion that is still standing before me hears.
“She’s your mate brother; no matter what we want or feel it’s stronger than us. She saw you in danger and tried to save you even if she didn’t really know you. Deep down the pull of mates is strong.”
“It’s fucked up,” I grunt, “I just want another chance to kill Merdor over and over again. He deserved to suffer for day’s even weeks before he died for everything he did.” I replay Merdor’s death in my head every day and think of all the other ways I could have made him suffer.
“I know Cassius, but don’t let that consume you. He’s dead, you killed him and he won’t hurt anyone ever again including any of our women.” I’ve had this fury running through my veins ever since I was captured and tortured by him. The thought of killing him, of making him suffer like he made me suffer was the only thing that kept me going. I thought that once I was able to kill him the hate, the rage that was a constant would leave me, but I was wrong.
The only time that I have some kind of peace is when I’m sitting next to this woman, I wish she would wake up; I want to see her eyes looking at me again. It’s been over a month and she’s still in a coma. Bion tells me there is no reason for her not to have woken up yet, but she hasn’t. What if she never wakes up again?
“He might be dead, but he’s evilness is still hurting.” I mumble
“She will awaken, hang in there. Don’t give up now when you so close to finding peace.”
“I’m no good for her Bion, I’m broken, it will be better for her not to mate me. I will hurt her, sooner or later she will start to feel what I feel. I can’t put her through that.” I say, I can’t put her through the horror of my past. My constant fight against my rage, I will destroy her and that I can’t do, not to someone that nearly died to save me, that might still die because of me.
“She will be your salvation brother; she’s the other half of your soul. The rage that you still feel in your soul will find peace once you bond with her. Give her a chance, don’t condemn yourself just yet.” he says
“Is that what you found with Brielle,” I ask, “Peace I mean?” a smile lightens his worried face when he thinks about his woman.
“There is no explanation to what I feel now that I have her. The darkness that I felt has left me, and light has taken over. Her softness, her love gives my existence meaning the same as your woman will do for you.” I know that she will bring me a measure of peace, but what darkness will I bring her. It’s my fault that she got hurt, I can’t, I won’t bring her anymore pain.
Looking over at the bed, I sigh, her long honey blond hair is scattered around the pillow framing her flawless beautiful face. Her hazel eyes when trained on me before she was shot were a warm honey colour that heated my blood even without me knowing that she belonged to me. Every time I close my eyes I can still see the pain in her face before she fell. The anguish that engulfs me is overwhelming. Why sweetness, why would you do that?
For weeks that I have sat next to her bed hoping that she will awaken, but day after day she lays asleep. Every day I am more drawn to her, every day I struggle with myself not to touch her. She’s my salvation but I think she came too late, I can feel the darkness winning. I’m tired of the constant fight with myself. Hearing a noise, I look around and realise that Bion has left.
Bion says that she can hear me, that she knows when I’m near. That I must talk to her and try and bring her back. I’ve started to tell her about where she is, about the Elemental’s MC, about everything and anything except about me. If she can hear me she will never come back if she knows what a broken shell of a man I am.
“Sweetness, you need to awaken.” I mumble as I place my hand near hers but far enough not to touch. “I need to make sure that you’re okay.” The bullet hit her at the base of her head as she was running towards me, and even though Bion says she’s fine, I need to make sure. I need her to wake up and talk to me, only then can I relax. She’s so delicate, how could anyone hurt her?
“Cassius” my head snaps around, I was so distracted with my woman that I didn’t even hear Draco walk in.
“Draco, what’s up?” I know that Draco has been worried about me; he has come to sit with me for hours nearly every night and if he doesn’t one of the other brothers do.
“We need to talk.” He says, by the look in his eyes I can tell that I’m not going to like this conversation.
“Sure, what’s wrong?”
“Celmund found information on those files that we thought were corrupted from the computers we captured when we attacked the Keres.” I nod in acknowledgment, “there was a file on your woman.” At his words I can feel my muscles tighten, what kind of information was on those files for Draco to look so weary.
“What kind of information?” I ask, I can feel the blood rushing through my body as I prepare myself for what he has to say.
“Well, first of all your woman is called Scarlett, she’s twenty five years old and lives with her twenty year old brother.” At his words I look at her, Scarlett, finally I have a name. “I’ve asked Wulf and Brandr to go and get her brother and bring him here.”
“Why?” I ask suspiciously,
“She has taken care of her brother ever since her mother died six years ago. I think that it will comfort her to know that he’s safe.”
“When will he arrive?” I ask
“I’m expecting them in the next hour.” Draco replies as he leans back against the wall and crosses his feet at the ankles, looking outwardly calm but I can tell by the tenseness in his muscles that he’s not calm.
“I want to talk to him before he sees her.” I state, I want to make sure I prepare him for what he will find. If he’s as close to her as Draco implies then this will be a shock, I need to look out for him until she awakens. I’m sure she would like that; I don’t want her to worry about anything except getting better.
“When they arrive I will let you know.” He says gruffly. I can sense there is more that he needs to say but he’s unsure of how to proceed. “Your woman was captured by Merdor just over four months ago.” At his words I can feel the rage build again, that means that they had her for three months.
“What else is in the file Draco?” I grunt, my hands fisted over the armrests and I feel them start to kink in my anger.
“First take care of your woman and her brother. Once they are settled and you are calmer I will give you the file.” I stand up in my anger as I face him, ready to argue and insist on seeing the file. “They need you now brother.” Those last words shook me to my core.
How am I supposed to help them if I’m so messed up myself? Looking back at Scarlett I feel my heart tighten in anguish, what did they do to her that Draco doesn’t want to tell me? I have an obligation to make sure that she’s fine. If she was held by Merdor for three months, I can only imagine the atrocities that he did to her. I will make sure no one else hurts her, including me.
“You will give me the file once they are both settled!” I insist and hear Draco sigh before he nods.
Before we can say anything else Brielle walks in with a smile on her face, it must be time for her to look after Scarlett. Brielle comes in twice a day and exercises Scarlett’s legs and arms, before she turns her on her sides, saying that it helps to prevent bed sores. Brielle also uses her healing gift on Scarlett, and promises that soon she will awaken.
“So how is our girl this morning?” she asks as she strokes her hand gently over Scarlett’s face. She’s not expecting an answer from us because she continues to talk to Scarlett as if she’s hearing her.
“Well that’s my cue to leave.” Draco quips as he starts to make his way out of the infirmary but stops at Brielle’s next words.
“I want to try something, will you help me?” she’s looking at me therefore I know she’s not asking Draco or talking to Scarlett.
“What do you need?” I ask wearily.
“Give me your hand while I treat her. I think your energy combined with mine can kick-start her waking up.” At her words I freeze, what if my energy hurts her instead of helping.
“I don’t think this is a good idea.” I state
“Do you think that will work?” Draco asks
“I think that even though they haven’t bonded there is still a connection, no harm in using his energy to awaken her. If she’s like me and the other women here she will be able to sense his energy once I touch him and then her.” She says
“This is a bad idea.” I say, “What if my energy actually harms her instead of helping.”
“You’re her mate brother, your energy will never hurt her.” Draco says, “But I suggest you do this after you speak to her brother. Wulf has just texted me, they will be here in the next few minutes.”
“That’s fine, we can try it this evening.” Brielle says helpfully, she raises her hand and places it on my arm. “Your energy won’t hurt her, I’m touching you now and it’s not hurting me.” I know that Brielle can feel people’s energies as she heals them. If she thinks that it won’t harm Scarlett, then I will have to believe her.
“Thanks sweetheart for everything you are doing for her.” Brielle has been coming to help with Scarlett every day since the accident, if it wasn’t for her I think that I would have lost my shit long ago if Bion was the one to have to bath and massage Scarlett. With those words I follow Draco out of the infirmary to go and meet Scarlett’s brother.
We are both walking into the garage when Wulf and Brandr ride in, to our surprise Scarlett’s brother pulls up behind them on an old Honda CBI four hundred. I can see he takes care of his motorcycle as the bike is spotless.
“Wow, this is bike heaven.” He quips excitedly as he gets off his bike looking around at all our motorbikes and cars. I notice that he has the same colour hair as Scarlett and an open friendly face even though he looks slightly nervous.
“Kade, this is Draco our MC President.” Brandr introduces as they walk towards us, “and this here is Cassius.” I see he looks at us wearily but his hazel eyes so like his sisters is open and friendly.
“Hi” now that he’s standing before us I can see how very young he still is.
“Kade” Draco greets, “I believe you’ve been told why you here?”
The kid nods, before he looks around and then back at Draco. “Is she going to be okay?” I can hear concern in his voice.
“For now, she’s stable, before we take you in to see her I would like to ask you a few questions. Is that fine?” Draco asks
“Umm, sure.” He says
“How long has your sister been missing?” Draco asks
“She went missing the day after my birthday, therefore it will be nearly five months. I went to the cops, but they couldn’t find her or what happened to her. They said she most probably left with a boyfriend, but Scarlett wouldn’t do that.” He says passionately.
“So, what have you been doing since she’s been gone?” I ask
“Well, I’ve got a job at a workshop. They don’t pay me much as I’m still learning, but I was able to help Scarlett with food. When she disappeared, I got by, but I haven’t paid the rent and now they want to kick us out.” He says worriedly, “Scarlett is going to be so pissed.”
“Don’t worry about that now kid, we will sort it out.” Draco states, “Cassius here is going to take you to see your sister, you will stay with us while she’s recovering.” Before Draco can leave the kids, words stop him.
“But I have to go to work.” He says worriedly, “If I miss work they will fire me and I really want to work with cars and bikes.”
“You can help Gunner and Bjarni with our bikes and cars. You now have a new job if you want it.” Draco says. I see the kid’s eyes widen and then he’s looking around with a big smile on his face.
“Seriously” he asks, “you will teach me to work on these bikes?”
“Yeah Kid.” Draco replies
“Yesss” he says with a whoop as he does a small jig before us. “Scarlett is going to be so happy, she didn’t like my boss, he was always trying to make a move on her.” At his words I feel my anger rise and I growl before I can hold it in. The kid stops and looks at me with wide surprised eyes.
“Ignore him,” Brandr states with a grin, “He’s just a bit overprotective of your sister.”
“You like my sister?” Kade asks with a frown.
“Yeah Kid, I like your sister. Now let’s go see her.” I say before he can continue talking. I turn and start making my way back to my woman hearing him rush behind me.